Press "Enter" to skip to content

Neil-alujah! Rev. Billy and choir to tour with iconic rocker Young

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | Hey hey, my my — Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir are the opening act for rocker Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s Love Earth Tour.

With 18 shows across the U.S., the tour kicks off Wed., April 24, in San Diego, then makes its way east, with a stop at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens on Tues., May 14, before concluding back in Chicago on May 23.

The choir members are flying out Monday night to join Neil Young’s troupe in San Diego.

As Billy, his wife Savitri D, who is the group’s director, the choir and musicians were packing to get ready to go, Billy called to say everyone was excitedly looking forward to the tour.

“We’re converging on J.F.K. Airport, flying a non-Boeing jet to San Diego to start the tour,” he said. “It’s just like, show, show, travel, show…crowded schedule, lots of time in a bus, sleeping in a bus in bunk beds as the bus drives all night. We love it. We’re totally thrilled.”

The radical East Village environmental / social-justice activists already have a long-standing relationship with the iconic rocker, who live-streams their free, secular Sunday performances from their Earthchxrch on his channel. They also opened for the Monsanto Years tour by Young and the band Promise of the Real nine years ago.

Reverend Billy sainting Malachy McCourt last April. At the time, McCourt was in hospice care. He died last month at age 92. (Photo by Sharon Woolums)

According to a press release, “During the Love Earth Tour, Reverend Billy and The Stop Shopping Choir plan to dedicate their time on stage to delivering radical environmentalism to the masses through song, humor, love and a healthy dose of faux-religiosity. They also plan to connect with local activists along the tour path, getting involved in direct actions to truly embody their love for the earth and the people that live on it.”

Typical for Neil Young tours, the Love Earth Tour shows will be at amphitheaters in the 6,000-to-30,000-seat range. Young and his wife, the actress Daryl Hannah, at whose wedding in 2018 Reverend Billy preached, have focused on environmental and health issues for many years. The Bridge School [for children with severe physical impairments and communication challenges] and Farm Aid are two of their best-known efforts.”

Since the early 2000s, Reverend Billy and The Stop Shopping Choir have worked to battle against consumerism, environmental degradation and war, and to fight for love, peace and the rights of the earth. This winter, the artist and activist collective turned their Earthchxrch, at 36 Avenue C, into a warming center and ad hoc English school for newly arrived migrants, mostly from West Africa.

Last month, Talen and Savitri D received a 2024 Acker Award for contributions to the East Village art scene. In 2022, the couple were designated “Climate Heroes” by The Guardian newspaper two years after working with the Black Institute to ban Monsanto’s carcinogenic herbicide RoundUp from New York City’s parks.

To purchase Love Earth Tour tickets, click here


  1. JacDog JacDog April 24, 2024

    Squeeze some LES juice over the nation.

  2. John Bredin John Bredin April 23, 2024

    I loooove the Rev and his amazing Stop Shopping Gospel Choir! Been a parishioner for over 20 years. Every holiday season I treat my college students to “What Would Jesus Buy?” For me it’s right up there with Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol.” I also supported his Green Party candidacy for governor of New York. He didn’t win but at least he tried. To quote the title of a classic Neil Young song, the good Rev has a “heart of gold.” Many blessings for this wonderful tour!

  3. Wes Green Wes Green April 22, 2024

    Congrats, Rev! Well deserved. Glad you get to spread your message.

Leave a Reply

Mission News Theme by Compete Themes.